The Golden State Warriors, thus far, have taken drama out of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors have shot out to a 2-0 lead and have not been tested in either home game. It really has not been that competitive. Yesterday (Wednesday) was Game 3 so there is a chance Golden State will be up 3-0 as you read this.
Cleveland will host Games 3 and 4 so there is a chance the games will be more competitive. I, along with other NBA fans, sure hope so.
I thought this Finals had a chance to be a classic matchup. After all, we have two teams that lost one combined game between them heading into the Finals. But thus far, it has been a mismatch. Two blowouts by Golden State have left Cleveland searching for answers they may never find.
The Warriors are revolutionizing the professional game. An acquaintance of mine liked Cleveland because they thought the Cavs had an advantage inside in the paint. I am thinking we will never find out if this is true because the game is not being played in the paint.
Golden State has so many three point shooters that it is changing the ways defense is played. So many times in this series I have seen Kevin Durant grab a rebound and lead a fast break. Instead of trying to stop him, Cleveland’s defense fans out to guard potential three point shooters. This opens up the court for Durant to score unguarded on the break. The Warriors are the greatest 3-year team in the history of the league, and just getting better by adding the second-best player in the NBA (Durant) to their roster.
LeBron James is getting his numbers but so far they have been meaningless. He and the Cavs simply cannot keep up with Golden State. James has been tiring in the second half when the Warriors pull away.
We will know after Game 3 if playing at home will even things up a little bit. It would be easy to write Cleveland off just like most did last year. That was before James and the Cavs won three straight to take the title.
NHL Is Giving Us A Finals
While the NBA Finals may be turning into a yawner, the NHL is giving us an entertaining finals. As I write this, the series between Pittsburgh and Nashville is tied at two apiece. Both teams held serve at home after four games.
History tells us that Pittsburgh will win another championship. After all, the Penguins, along with the Chicago Black Hawks, are the two most successful franchises in the NHL since the turn of the century.
But Nashville may just pull off the upset. The Predators pretty much played Pittsburgh even on the road and could easily win a game in Pittsburgh. Especially since they have the hottest goalkeeper in Patrick Rinne. And history also tells us that the hottest goalkeeper usually ends up with the Stanley Cup.
Cam Is Healing
Word out of Charlotte is that Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton is ahead of schedule on his rehab from shoulder surgery. Actually, he is going to throw during next week’s mini camp.
The news is a positive for it gives Newton a chance to work with newcomers prior to the start of preseason.
The 2015 NFL MVP had surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in late March. According to a team release at the time, Newton would not be allowed to throw for 12 weeks and wouldn’t throw with the team for 16 weeks. You can throw that release away. Apparently, Newton is doing the needed work. And that is a positive because critics sometimes question his work ethic.
Image: Patrick Rinne
Image: Cam Newton in January 2017